Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hike # 16 Short Springs- 8:30am Sunday

Short Springs State Natural Area.  5 miles moderate.  Tullahoma, TN  Hike leader Cindy Watson. 

 Short Springs is a 420 acre Designated State Natural Area located in Coffee County.  While located on the Highland Rim, Short Springs dramatically plunges into the Central Basin.  Deep gorges and steep slopes form the landscape of this beautiful area.  Bobo Creek flows over rapids and two 20-ft. waterfalls, Upper and lower Busby Falls.  Newman  Branch Creek flows over an impressive 60-ft. waterfall called Machine Falls.  Along Bob Creek and Newman Branch a rich alluvial bottomland forest of sycamore, buckeye, elm, ash, and maple flourish.  While descending the Machine Falls Trail to the bottom of the Falls observe the crumbly, black shaley rock at mid slope.  This is Chattanooga Shale which also forms the parquet stream floor located above Upper Busby Falls.  This formation delineates the Highland Rim from the Central Basin.  The canopy on the higher elevations is dominated by dry upland species of oaks, such ass post, southern red, black and blackjack.  Blackgum and mockernut hickory are also common.  The trails are Machine Falls Loop 1.4 miles, Busby Falls Loop 0.9 miles, Connector Trail 0.l miles, Wildflower Loop 0.2 miles, Adams Falls Loop 1.2  miles, and Laurel Bluff Loop 1.4 miles.  All these trails are wonderful.

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